Running an association is all about personal relationships. After all, the entire point of your association, likely, is to provide members with a personal inroad to network with other members, industry leaders, and various professionals who share the same passion for their selected industry. As a result, doesn’t it make sense to provide personalized services to members? More and more, people in the world of business are expecting to receive personalized solutions, and this is largely due to the Internet. Whether it be ads supported through Google or suggestions on social media, personalization is increasingly important in the digital world, and if your association can’t keep up, it’s likely to lose out.
You Already Have the Data
One of the most puzzling things about associations that aren’t offering personalized services is that most already have more data about members than the biggest ad companies on the planet. When a member joins, he or she will generally not only provide personal information, but also professional information. This alone gives your association a leg up when it comes to offering personalized services. Beyond that, however, many associations also ask for extraneous information from members, such as where they found out about the association or where they spend time networking online. This additional information can be a treasure trove for member retention, but only if you use it wisely.
How Associations Are Currently Personalizing Content
Personalization has been around for many years now, but for the most part, associations (and businesses) have been using it for minor tasks. For example, email addresses are associated with individual member names, so when a mass email is blasted out, each member receives it personally addressed. Another example is when a member receives a postcard with his or her individual renewal date on it. While these forms of personalization are fine, they don’t truly connect, and that’s why you’ll need to step things up.
Speaking to Member Interests
As mentioned previously, you likely already have a wealth of information about your members and their interests, so why not use that information to personalize the content you deliver? One way to do this is to build a newsletter template that can easily have content swapped out prior to being sent. Using this, your association can tailor what content appears in the newsletter to the corresponding interests of each member. You can also develop educational or networking opportunities that fit certain profiles and offer them to specific members according to the aforementioned interests or experiences.
In the end, it’s going to take more than a simple email personalization to really show members that you’re truly committed to their needs and best interests. Instead, think about all of the data you possess regarding your association’s members, and then try to find ways in which to leverage this data to speak more directly to the hopes, fears, and desires of your association’s members.